This summer as the sun goes down, El Chiringuito will prepare their enchanting venue to host their divine dinner service. By night, this most emblematic of Ibiza’s restaurants takes on a whole new ambience, of course retaining the effortless elegance of the daytime Chiringuito which we know and love so well, but with an added” je ne sais quoi”, a touch of candlelit magic to entrance and delight you.
With the focus as always firmly on fabulous food and drink, combined with their renowned and consistently excellent service, we ask ourselves, what wonderful wines can we expect to indulge our palates from this new night time environment?
We spoke to sommelier Esteban, who has been curating the wine list with care and integrity at El Chiringuito for the last 5 years. Hailing from Buenos Aires, he joined the team as a runner then became a waiter, but desired more, and noting the absence of a dedicated sommelier, he began to to study the ancient art of fine wine in Barcelona.
He tells us that he believes the wine world is expansive and evolving, that the more you learn the less you know, the different cultures, different grapes which constantly appear on the scene mean that every year the wine world is changing, in his opinion, it is infinite. Having spent time in some of the best vineyards across the world, he truly loves what he does, and this is evident in his excellent selection. Along with his assistant Christina he advises guests using his innate psychology and knowledge of wine to gently guide them to the perfect choice, offering and allowing them to discover new things.
He has handpicked some of the finest wines from around the globe, specifically to complement not only the refined evening menu, but to match and enhance the after dark atmosphere.
He tells us that he has added a wider selection of red wines, as the rich and aromatic scents of the grilled meat and fish which are offered on the dinner menu simply invite you to enjoy them with a good red wine.
For a light red, perhaps as an aperitif, look at the Vera Vides a versatile, medium to light bodied wine, full of fruit & freshness. Or perhaps you prefer to try one of the biodynamic wines from the village of Morgon, made by Marcel Lapierre, who Esteban refers to as the ‘pope’ of wines, a truly great winemaker.
Discover El Chiribique, from Tenerife, which can be found in Michelin starred restaurants across the globe. These are complex, different wines created from vines which are located 700 – 800 metres above sea level and grown from volcanic soil, giving the wines personality and complexity.
Esteban has also collated an exceptional selection of old riojas, including Vina Pomal & Vina Real, with the intention of giving guests the experience of tasting wines which were produced perhaps before they had ever tasted wine, from the great cellars of ‘78, ‘83 and ‘85, the only danger here, he laughs, is that once you have tasted these wines you may never wish to drink a young wine again! These wines are light, yet elegant, tasting them is a true experience.
But, what about the bubbles? Naturally, we would expect only the very finest champagnes and cavas to appear on the menu, and we are not disappointed. Esteban is particularly excited by a very special cava, Loxarel 109, which he presents to us. This cava sleeps with the leaves in the cellar for 109 months, hence the name, giving it is unique complexity and aromas, it’s a gastronomic cava to enjoy with friends in a big glass. Beautifully presented in a rustic wooden box, the bottle is not cleaned when it is taken from the cellar, enhancing the overall feeling of authenticity.
Of course, you can also indulge in the well-known brands yet, alongside them, more than holding their own are some fine champagnes from smaller winemakers in France.
By the glass, enjoy the Jean Louis Vergon from the famous Grand Crum salon. 100% chardonnay, with an elegant touch of peach, apple vanilla, toasted bread and butter, very well balanced, the aftertaste is rich in minerals. A great champagne to begin your dining experience, perhaps with some sumptuous oysters, and this delectable drink will seamlessly see you through your courses, perfectly balancing the flavours of the freshly grilled fish.
El Chiringuito has never failed to amaze, delight and inspire us with their exceptional offerings and we are confident that the night time experience will continue this legacy.